Whenever policy makers try to get public schools to teach both sides of issues like evolution or global warming, the mainstream media is there to distort the issues.
With respect to evolution, there are criticisms of elements of the theory from within naturalistic science.
For example, here is an interview with famous biologist Lynn Margulis, published in the radically pro-evolution, pro-naturalism Discover magazine.
Margulis came to view symbiosis as the central force behind the evolution of new species, an idea that has been dismissed by modern biologists. The dominant theory of evolution (often called neo-Darwinism) holds that new species arise through the gradual accumulation of random mutations, which are either favored or weeded out by natural selection. To Margulis, random mutation and natural selection are just cogs in the gears of evolution; the big leaps forward result from mergers between different kinds of organisms, what she calls symbiogenesis. Viewing life as one giant network of social connections has set Margulis against the mainstream in other high-profile ways as well. She disputes the current medical understanding of AIDS and considers every kind of life to be “conscious” in a sense.
Here is something from the interview:
And you don’t believe that natural selection is the answer?
This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists: They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection. If you want bigger eggs, you keep selecting the hens that are laying the biggest eggs, and you get bigger and bigger eggs. But you also get hens with defective feathers and wobbly legs. Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.
Now, that’s a criticism of the standard theory from a prominent scientist who is a naturalist. She has a naturalistic alternative that she thinks can do the creating. Can we teach her criticism of the standard theory in the public schools? This is what people mean by “teach the controversy”. We don’t mean teach intelligent design, we mean teach the weaknesses of the theory of evolution from within the naturalistic scientific community. But this is apparently too much for journalism graduates to understand.
In states like Louisiana, Tennessee, and the current flash point of South Dakota, we have supported responsible academic freedom laws. These laws allow science teachers to present the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian theory as an explanation of biological novelties. They don’t introduce or protect teaching about intelligent design, and certainly not about any religious doctrine (like creationism). They explicitly extend protection to science instruction alone, and then only when it enriches students’ understanding of subjects that are already part of the curriculum (which ID is not). Yet journalists routinely assert that these laws would shoehorn intelligent design and “creationism” in public school science classes.
In the same context, when we advocate introducing students to “critical thinking” on evolution, with teaching material drawn only from mainstream science, the media claim that “critical thinking” is “code” for intelligent design, or for “intelligent design creationism.” We know that it’s not, and that the “code word” conspiracy theory is utterly false.
The author of that piece tries to explain the difference between criticism of evolution from within mainstream science, and intelligent design, but the journalists just can’t understand what he is saying. There is an example of it here on Evolution News.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University is out with a new study on media fact checkers, and unsurprisingly, their results suggest that PolitiFact has it out for Republicans. Dylan Byers at Politico summarized CMPA’s findings:
The fact-checking organization PolitiFact has found Republicans to be less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study.
Fifty-two percent of Republican claims reviewed by the Tampa Bay Times fact-checking operation were rated “mostly false,” “false” or “pants on fire,” versus just 24 percent of Democratic statements, according to George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs. By the same token, 54 percent of Democratic statements were rated as “mostly true” or “true,” compared to just 18 percent of Republican statements.
The CMPA looked at 100 statements — 46 by Democrats, 54 by Republicans — that were fact-checked by PolitiFact between January 20 and May 22.
[…]This is also not the first academic study that concluded PolitiFact might be putting their thumb on the scale when it comes to selecting and evaluating political statements. Last year, during the height of campaign season, the CMPA tallied up PolitiFact ratings. That study also showed PolitiFact tends to be much harder on Republicans:
The study examined 98 election-related statements by the presidential candidates, their surrogates, and campaign ads fact-checked by PolitiFact.com from June 1 to September 11. Major findings:
PolitiFact checked the assertions of Democrats slightly more often than those of Republicans (54% vs. 46% of all statements).
However, PolitiFact rated Democratic statements as “mostly true” or “entirely true” about twice as often as Republican statements — 42% true ratings for Democrats vs. 20% for Republicans.
Conversely, statements by Republicans were rated as entirely false about twice as often as Democratic statements – 29% false ratings for GOP statements vs. 15% false ratings for Democrats. (This includes categories labeled “false” and “pants on fire.”)
Further, the University of Minnesota School of Public Affairs looked at over than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011. Their conclusion:
Current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts. In total, 74 of the 98 statements by political figures judged ‘false’ or ‘pants on fire’ over the last 13 months were given to Republicans, or 76 percent, compared to just 22 statements for Democrats (22 percent).
In other words, they are cherry-picking statements that are false for Republicans and true for Democrats. But maybe that’s just because Republicans lie more than Democrats right before an election? Maybe, just before an election, Republicans suddenly start to lie uncontrollably while Democrats suddenly start to tell the truth all the time?
2008 PolitiFact before the election: ‘We rate his statement True’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”
The 2008 Obama plan, among other things, sought to transform the individual insurance market; it proposed to bar insurers from charging different premiums to the healthy and the sick, and to require them to offer plans to all comers, regardless of prior health status. According to PolitiFact, however, there was no need to worry that these provisions would be disruptive to existing health plans.
As per PolitiFact’s usual M.O., Holan didn’t seek out any skeptical health-policy experts to suss out the veracity of Senator Obama’s signature claim. Instead, its sources included Jonathan Cohn, a passionate Obamacare supporter at The New Republic, and various interviews and statements of Mr. Obama. Holan simply took the “keep your plan” promise at face value, dismissing as dishonest anyone who dared suggest that Obama’s claim would be impossible to keep. “His opponents have attacked his plan as ‘government-run’ health care,” she wrote, the scare-quotes around “government-run” being visible to all.
PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.
Here’s the screen capture from 2008:
2013 PolitiFact after the election: ‘We rate his statement Pants On Fire’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On December 12,  the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”
[…]So that brings us back to the fall of 2013. As Obamacare’s battle station became operational, and tens of millions of health plans became illegal, PolitiFact was caught with its flaming pants down. Louis Jacobson rapped Valerie Jarrett for tweeting that “nothing in Obamacare forces people out of their health plans”—a claim Jacobson rated as “False,” even though PolitiFact had rated it as “True” and “Half True” before.
On November 4, Jacobson rated as “Pants on Fire” the President’s new claim that “what we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Both pieces were edited by Angie Drobnic Holan, who had initially granted PolitiFact’s seal of approval to Senator Obama’s 2008 promise. Holan delivered the coup de grâce, declaring as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” the “keep your plan” promise.
“The promise was impossible to keep,” says Holan in her December piece. Now she tells us! But none of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.
And the screen capture from 2013:
So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they don’t say that.
The Tampa Bay Times. Politifact. It’s a catchy name, isn’t? It’s telling us the Facts about Politics.
I think this case demonstrates how people on the political left allow their emotions to overturn objective reality. You can keep your doctor. You can keep your health plan. Benghazi was caused by a Youtube video. The e-mails and e-mail backups of all the IRS employees were lost. The Department of Justice did not target Associated Press journalists. The assault weapons were not gun-walked to Mexican drug cartels. They will believe anything that makes them feel superior and noble, even when faced with evidence that clearly falsifies their beliefs.
Life News reports about an astonishing story of left-wing media bias in the mainstream media. (H/T Mary from Marin)
On Wednesday night, the major network evening newscasts all failed to cover the first full,successful Congressional vote to repeal of ObamaCare and defund of Planned Parenthood that will go to President Obama’s desk where he’ll likely veto the measures seeking to undo his health care law and strike federal funding from the nation’s largest provider of abortions.
Despite the final vote in the House coming late in the afternoon, ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News chose not to even muster a news brief informing their viewers of this action by the Republican-led Congress (with the Senate vote coming via reconciliation).
Providing a more balanced contrast, FNC’s Special Report had a full segment with host Bret Baier and chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel live on Capitol Hill providing the details.
Baier returned from commercial break by noting that “Republicans are making history and making their point with their latest attempt to overturn the President’s health care law, but they still are not actually successfully repealing ObamaCare.”
Emanuel mentioned that the House vote was 240-181 and while “House lawmakers have voted dozens of times to repeal ObamaCare,” all the previous attempts ended because “Senate Democrats have successfully filibustered the measures.”
The FNC correspondent then explained how the legislation passed the Senate and that it also included language to defund Planned Parenthood: “But this time, the Senate used a procedure known as reconciliation to pass this bill. House leaders noted it would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood and force the President to defend his signature law.”
After soundbites from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Speaker Paul Ryan, Emanuel ruled that Republicans “recognize the President will veto the bill and they’re not expected to have the votes to override it” as Speaker Ryan has instead “urg[ed] his colleagues to come up with an ObamaCare alternative to provide a contrast.”
Instead of highlighting this story, ABC and NBC both devoted full stories to hyping the $500 million PowerBall jackpot set to be drawn late Wednesday night.
I am personally not a fan of Fox News, but there are two exceptions. Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. The bipartisan panels on those shows is worth the time to watch it. But the main thing I want to say about this story is about the mainstream media’s silence. When you look in the mainstream media, you will not find any pro-life voices there. And this is despite the fact that half the country is pro-life. I just think it’s important for us to not sit there in front of the television and absorb the values of these carefully coifed and made-up “journalists”. They are there to promote secular leftism, and nothing more. So be critical when you watch.
This post presents evidence against Mormonism/LDS in three main areas. The first is in the area of science. The second is in the area of philosophy. And the third is in the area of history.
The scientific evidence
First, let’s take a look at what the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, believes about the origin of the universe:
“The elements are eternal. That which had a beggining will surely have an end; take a ring, it is without beggining or end – cut it for a beggining place and at the same time you have an ending place.” (“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 205)
“Now, the word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos – chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existance from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beggining, and can have no end.”
(“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 395)
A Mormon scholar named Blake Ostler summarizes the Mormon view in a Mormon theological journal:
“In contrast to the self-sufficient and solitary absolute who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Mormon God did not bring into being the ultimate constituents of the cosmos — neither its fundamental matter nor the space/time matrix which defines it. Hence, unlike the Necessary Being of classical theology who alone could not not exist and on which all else is contingent for existence, the personal God of Mormonism confronts uncreated realities which exist of metaphysical necessity. Such realities include inherently self-directing selves (intelligences), primordial elements (mass/energy), the natural laws which structure reality, and moral principles grounded in the intrinsic value of selves and the requirements for growth and happiness.” (Blake Ostler, “The Mormon Concept of God,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 (Summer 1984):65-93)
So, Mormons believe in an eternally existing universe, such that matter was never created out of nothing, and will never be destroyed. But this is at odds with modern cosmology.
The standard Big Bang model thus describes a universe which is not eternal in the past, but which came into being a finite time ago. Moreover,–and this deserves underscoring–the origin it posits is an absolute origin ex nihilo. For not only all matter and energy, but space and time themselves come into being at the initial cosmological singularity. As Barrow and Tipler emphasize, “At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.“
[…]On such a model the universe originates ex nihilo in the sense that at the initial singularity it is true that There is no earlier space-time point or it is false that Something existed prior to the singularity.
Christian cosmology requires such a creation out of nothing, but this is clearly incompatible with what Mormons believe about the universe. The claims about the universe made by the two religions are in disagreement, and we can test empirically to see who is right, using science.
Always Have a Reason contrasts two concepts of God in Mormonism: Monarchotheism and Polytheism. It turns out that although Mormonism is actually a polytheistic religion, like Hinduism. In Mormonism, humans can become God and then be God of their own planet. So there are many Gods in Mormonism, not just one.
[T]he notion that there are innumerable contingent “primal intelligences” is central to this Mormon concept of god (P+M, 201; Beckwith and Parrish, 101). That there is more than one god is attested in the Pearl of Great Price, particularly Abraham 4-5. This Mormon concept has the gods positioned to move “primal intelligences along the path to godhood” (Beckwith and Parrish, 114). Among these gods are other gods which were once humans, including God the Father. Brigham Young wrote, “our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father, and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on…” (Brigham Young, The Seer, 132, quoted in Beckwith and Parrish, 106).
[…]The logic of the Mormon polytheistic concept of God entails that there is an infinite number of gods. To see this, it must be noted that each god him/herself was helped on the path to godhood by another god. There is, therefore, an infinite regress of gods, each aided on his/her path to godhood by a previous god. There is no termination in this series. Now because this entails an actually infinite collection of gods, the Mormon polytheistic concept of deity must deal with all the paradoxes which come with actually existing infinities…
The idea of counting up to an actual infinite number of things by addition (it doesn’t matter what kind of thing it is) is problematic. See here.
Finally, it seems polytheistic Mormonism has a difficulty at its heart–namely the infinite regress of deity.
[…]Each god relies upon a former god, which itself relies upon a former god, forever. Certainly, this is an incoherence at the core of this concept of deity, for it provides no explanation for the existence of the gods, nor does it explain the existence of the universe.
Now let’s see the historical evidence against Mormonism.
The historical evidence
J. Warner Wallace explains how the “Book of Abraham”, a part of the Mormon Scriptures, faces historical difficulties.
The Book of Abraham papyri are not as old as claimed:
Mormon prophets and teachers have always maintained that the papyri that was purchased by Joseph Smith was the actual papyri that was created and written by Abraham. In fact, early believers were told that the papyri were the writings of Abraham.
[…]There is little doubt that the earliest of leaders and witnesses believed and maintained that these papyri were, in fact the very scrolls upon which Abraham and Joseph wrote. These papyri were considered to be the original scrolls until they were later recovered in 1966. After discovering the original papyri, scientists, linguists, archeologists and investigators (both Mormon and non-Mormon) examined them and came to agree that the papyri are far too young to have been written by Abraham. They are approximately 1500 to 2000 years too late, dating from anywhere between 500 B.C. (John A. Wilson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, p. 70.) and 60 A.D. If they papyri had never been discovered, this truth would never have come to light. Today, however, we know the truth, and the truth contradicts the statements of the earliest Mormon leaders and witnesses.
The Book of Abraham papyri do not claim what Joseph Smith said:
In addition to this, the existing papyri simply don’t say anything that would place them in the era related to 2000BC in ancient Egypt. The content of the papyri would at least help verify the dating of the document, even if the content had been transcribed or copied from an earlier document. But the papyri simply tell us about an ancient burial ritual and prayers that are consistent with Egyptian culture in 500BC. Nothing in the papyri hints specifically or exclusively to a time in history in which Abraham would have lived.
So there is a clear difference hear between the Bible and Mormonism, when it comes to historical verification.
A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery, with the suspect maintaining he was a regular at the mosque.
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the suspect, 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday. Moore appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said, and bond was set at $100,000.
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
Moore said he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home, according to authorities and court papers. Moore said he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he departed, authorities said. He maintained he had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
Now, I wouldn’t post this if there was not something to learn from it at a higher level, and there is. There is something to learn about the left-wing, shame the good, praise the evil, mindset.
Breitbart News documents the initial reactions from the mainstream media to the story before it was known who the guilty person was.
Excerpt: (links to other sites removed)
Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in recent weeks that can be linked to the mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. And they say that Muslims are fearful the backlash could lead to further harassment and violence.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate the fire for an anti-Muslim motive.
“Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire,” Mustafaa Carroll, the chapter’s executive director, said in a statement.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate a possible bias motive in the case, citing what it called a “recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.
Now that a devout Muslim has been charged, the DC Media will forget all about the incident.
The media’s playbook is always to immediately use any disaster or crime as a means to make the GOP answer for it. Then, once the facts come out and point to a member of the Protected Class, the story is memory-holed and the accusation against the Republican lingers.
That was very bad, and it should teach you a lesson about how anxious the media is to make traditional groups (conservatives, Christians, orthodox Jews, etc.) feel ashamed, while protecting and praising radical Islamists. They want to force everyone to be “equal” on the moral scale, so that no one can judge anyone else. The problem is, as we see in this story, that not shaming evil causes evil people to more evil, not less evil.
Anyway, all that is well and good, but we haven’t seen the worst media bias. That prize goes to the radically, radically leftist Salon, which not only put up a story blaming conservatives for the arson, but then took it down once the news came out about who was arrested for it: (H/T Weasel Zippers)
(click for larger image)
Why did they do it? Because the story only had value to them when it could give America, Christians, Republicans, etc. a black eye. When it gave radicalized Muslim terrorists a black eye, then Salon had to take it down. They didn’t want to make their allies in the culture war look bad. And do you know what else Salon doesn’t report on? Crucifixions, torture, rape and murder by radical Muslims (often against other Muslims!) in other parts of the world. That doesn’t fit their narrative, either.
Do you ever wonder where so many people have an emotional reaction of sympathy for people who do evil? It’s because they’ve been conditioned by the media to think that somehow, some way, evil people are actually justified in doing their evil. And somehow, some way, good people are all hypocrites who shouldn’t judge anyone, because it is mean and makes people feel bad. If you went to public schools in America and listened to the mainstream media, you’ve been indoctrinated in that from birth to present day. It all comes from the shame that people on the left feel for their own immoral actions, and their desperate desire to stop all moral judging as a way of escaping from the misdeeds they committed in the past. This is their way of dealing with their own guilt – stopping everyone else from making moral judgments about anything.
To learn more about media bias from peer-reviewed studies that document it, click here.